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Virtual Reality: The New Frontier

For Immediate Release
Contact: Nickey Robare, Communications Director

Jessie Cohen, Publicist, Sundance, New Frontier

Meredith Kessler, Assistant Director, Public Relations, Walker Art Center


©2016 Jonathan Hickerson, courtesy of Sundance Institute


Virtual Reality: The New Frontier

Takes You to 18 Virtual Worlds

at Northern Spark 2016 and the Walker Art Center

Presented by Northern, The Walker Art Center, and Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Program

Northern Spark official start & end times: 9:00 pm until 5:26 am

Mill City neighborhood / Minneapolis, MN / Free* & Open to the Public (*except ticketed Launch Party)

Walker Art Center

Loring Park Neighborhood/ Minneapolis, MN/ Free

Sunday, June 12, 2-4 pm, Art Lab

Tuesday, June 14, 3-5 pm, Art Lab

Wednesday, June 15, 2-4 pm, Art Lab

Thursday, June 16, 5-8 pm, Garden Terrace Room


MINNEAPOLIS, May 26, 2016​—Beginning on J​une 11​ at the 6th annual N​orthern Spark festival and continuing at the W​alker Art Center ​until J​une 16, 2016​ step into a new immersive medium and roam with bison in the wild, swim with whales in the deep ocean or explore a mysterious asteroid.​ V​irtual Reality: The New Frontier, ​is an international selection of virtual reality works that represents some of the most compelling narrative and documentary VR storytelling being independently created today. The lineup also includes three specially selected pieces by Minnesota artists. V​irtual Reality: The New Frontier​ i​s presented in collaboration with Sundance Institute’s New Frontier Program, the Walker Art Center, and Northern

Celebrating its 10th anniversary,​ S​undance Institute’s New Frontier program​ has provided ​t​he highest level of curation in this emerging field since 2007. Incorporating fiction, non-fiction and hybrid projects to showcase innovations in storytelling as it intersects with technology, performance, film, art and music. The works presented in Virtual Reality: The New Frontier include immersive documentaries such as Chris Milk and Gabo Arora’s W​aves of Grace,​ a portrait of a community rebuilding after the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and Lynette Wallworth’s C​ollisions,​ a live action/animated documentary about the Martu tribe in western Australia. The works featured in V​irtual Reality: The New Frontier w​ill be available for viewing at Northern Spark on June 11 and at the Walker Art Center until Thursday, June 16, and for download at​​


Danfung Dennis, Casey Brown, Phil McNally’s Condition One: In the Presence of Animals,​courtesy of Sundance Institute


Three unique experiences from Minnesota artists have been specially selected for presentation at Northern Spark and the Walker Art Center. ​simRVR ​by Bill Gorcica, Mark Gill, Matt Julius, Kristian Twombly invites you to witness the growing toxicity of a river, and how the smallest changes impact the farthest reaches of our food web. B​lack Lives Matter MPLS ​by Chuck Olsen will allow you to experience one peaceful night at the Black Lives Matter protest in North Minneapolis this past winter. In​ Let’s Go Crazy,​ also by Chuck Olsen, witness Dem Atlas perform a tribute to Prince in front of thousands of fans who gathered in front of First Avenue after his death. The complete list of 18 different experiences c​an be seen here.​


Chuck Olsen’s L​et’s Go Crazy, c​ourtesy the artist.

Chuck Olsen’s L​et’s Go Crazy, c​ourtesy the artist.


There will be a limited number of Samsung phones and Gear VR with experiences ready to view on-site at Northern Spark and at the Walker Art Center. Visitors will also be given an official Sundance Institute New Frontier 10th Anniversary limited artist edition Google Cardboard designed by New Frontier Story Lab fellow, Yung Jake. This cardboard VR viewer allows users to experience VR on their own smartphones. In preparation for mobile VR viewing at Northern Spark or at the Walker, participants are encouraged to download apps for Android or iOS smartphones from s​​

Technical support for the Walker Art Center and Northern Spark’s presentation of the Sundance Institute’s Virtual Reality: The New Frontier provided by Samsung.

About Northern Spark

Northern Spark​is a free, annual, dusk-to-dawn, multidisciplinary arts festival that takes place on the second Saturday of June and draws tens of thousands of Minnesotans each year. For the 2016 and 2017 festivals, the theme Climate Chaos | Climate Rising will explore the interconnected, evolving, long-term consequences from climate change, giving local and national artists’ a platform to help turn a sense of overwhelmment into concrete actions anchored in a realistic and hopeful map for the future.

For more information on the festival, visit ​

For more information on the theme Climate Chaos | Climate Rising, visit

Northern Spark by the numbers, 2011-2015:

●  494 artist projects in 117 venues
●  188,000 attendees
●  Over 1,391 local and national artists and performers
●  230 cultural organization partners
●  388,248 website visits by 268,480 unique visitors

About Northern

Northern Spark is presented by Northern, a nonprofit arts organization whose vision is to transform our sense of what’s possible in public space.

Northern Spark is one night, but Northern shines throughout the year with projects that encourage public participation and artistic innovation, from the Giant-Sing-Along at the Minnesota State Fair to a permanent storytelling platform at Union Depot, to our annual year-long, intensive, mentor-based fellowship for emerging artists, Art(ists) on the Verge.

For more information visit​

About the Walker Art Center

The Walker Art Center is a catalyst for the creative expression of artists and the active engagement of audiences. Focusing on the visual, performing, and media arts of our time, the Walker takes a global, multidisciplinary, and diverse approach to the creation, presentation, interpretation, collection, and preservation of art. Walker programs examine the questions that shape and inspire us as individuals, cultures, and communities.

For more information visit